Why Is My Dog Making Weird Noises?

Our dogs can make an astonishing variety of sounds that range from cute to frightening. Most of the time, the quirky sounds contribute to the dog’s charm and character and are entirely normal. But, at times, we may wonder why our dog is making an unusual sound and if it’s something to be concerned about.

Let’s look at everyday dog noises, why they occur, and if they require a visit to the vet.

Why is My Dog Making Weird Noises?

There are four primary reasons why dogs bark:

  • Communication
  • Respiration
  • Digestion
  • Discomfort or Disease

Dogs have a different language than humans can. Instead, they depend on different sounds together and body language for communication with each other and with other animals. From panting, barking, whining, yelping, and many more, the dogs make bizarre noises to communicate.

Other sounds, like snoring or wheezing, are all associated with breathing. These strange breathing sounds are familiar in breeds, particularly those with short muzzles like French Bulldogs and Pugs. However, they’re more problematic in dogs that typically do not make them.

Digestion is another cause of weird sounds that are produced by our canines. Burping stomach, gurgling breaking winds, and much more result from healthy digestion processes. But, if the signs are associated with other changes in your pet’s behavior, like vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia, it may be caused by a medical issue that needs treatment.

The strange sound of a dog’s the sound of a dog retching, hacking, or coughing. Sneezing, coughing, and hacking are more alarming and warrant visiting your vet, particularly when your pet is experiencing difficulty breathing or is showing other symptoms of health issues.

10 Weird Dog Noises and What They Mean

When you become familiar with the sounds your dog makes frequently, it is easier to distinguish between normal sounds and ones that may be a sign of a health issue or medical condition.

Barking, Baying, and Howling

Barking is the primary method of communication. It can refer to things like joy or anxiety, fear excitation, alarm, etc. The best way to determine the meaning of barking is to consider the context. For example, an animal that is barking, waving its tail, and moving around with joy is likely to be exuberant, while a dog that shouts, snarls, or raises its claws is most likely in danger.

Certain breeds of dogs can use a specific bark like baying or a howl. Baying is a long deep bark while howling is a high-pitched, long bark. Both sound types have a long history of hunting. They are used to notify people or other pack members that they’re hunting for prey, inform strangers to keep away or alert others of their position, and signal for assistance. Certain dogs shout sirens and mimic the sounds of police vehicles and ambulances.


The growl is a strange dog sound that we’re all familiar with, and we quickly recognize it as a signal to be cautious. But it could mean more.

Some dogs can growl when playing with each other or pulling on the rope toy. In time, you’ll begin to interpret your dog’s distinctive growls based on your body language and movements. A quiet growl can suggest they hear something from outside and would like to be aware of it, while a more raucous growl coupled with pinched ears and a hunched posture might mean they’re looking for some space.

Reverse Sneezing and Snorting

One of the most frightening sounds that dogs make is an inverse nose. In a regular sneeze, the air is released rapidly through the nasal passages. Contrarily, the air is pulled backward rapidly across the nose passages in the reverse sneeze, creating an obnoxious snorting sound. A lot of dogs exhibit multiple reverses of sneezes over some time, which is alarming to pet parents when a dog is experiencing one of these sneezing attacks that reverse. Dogs with short muzzles (brachycephalic breeds) are more likely to have more sneezing changes than dogs with longer noses.

Reverse sneezing, however, is usually harmless and most likely caused by allergens or other substances that could cause an ongoing sneeze. Certain dogs may also start to sneeze in reverse when they are hyper-excited and will be able to reverse sneeze once they settle down.

Coughing and Sneezing

Sneeze or cough in dogs for a variety of reasons we do. Exposure to smells that trigger allergies, such as solid scents, smoke, and dust, could trigger a harmless cough or sneeze. Dogs can also cough or sneeze if they are holding something in their nose, such as grass pieces or something rubbing their throat.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract, including Canine Influenza The virus, known as Canine Influenza, can cause dogs to cough or cough. The coughing could be caused by an even more severe health issue, such as pneumonia and heartworm infections. While a minor cough or sneeze is nothing to be concerned about, when it grows chronic, lasts for more than a week to two days, or if your pet exhibits any other indications of illness, a trip to the vet is a wise choice.


Another loud and dramatic sound made by dogs is the honking. Dogs will generally be heard honking loudly during stressful situations or even in the evening. The sound that sounds like a goose is typical of a collapsed trachea. This is a condition where the trachea partly collapses, and the dog must honk loudly to open it. The dogs that make this sound need to visit a vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Gagging and Hacking

As with sneezing and coughing, hacking and gagging are two strange sounds that can be heard when dogs have something irritating (or maybe stuck) within their throat. If you can hear your dog make the sound of hacking or gagging, it is essential to investigate the cause, as they may be inhaling something. If they do this a few times and continue their day, it’s not a problem. Suppose they do have a habit of making noise. In that case, the noise may be caused by medical conditions like kennel cough, asthma, kennel cough, upper respiratory infection, heartworm infection, or intestinal parasite migration.

Whimpering and Whining

Whining and whining are other dog sounds that are used to communicate. Similar to the bark whine, whine could mean various things. Whining or whining can be a sign of stress when they’re stressed, fearful, anxious, or suffering. Whining may also signify that your dog requires attention, for example, eating, walking, or even a few belly rubs. They might even seek your help to locate their favorite toy. To understand the meaning of your dog’s bark, look for information from the environment and body language. You can also determine their levels of energy.

Stomach Gurgling (Borborygmi)

The average dog’s digestion process may be noisy. These strange gut sounds are known as borborygmi. They vary from low gurgles to high-pitched squeaks. Most of the time, the noises aren’t anything to be concerned about, particularly in the case of a dog acting normally. But, if stomach sounds are associated with other symptoms of illness, such as a decrease in appetite or vomiting, or if your dog is agitated and uncomfortable, it could indicate a digestive condition that requires medical treatment.

Groaning, Grunting, and Sighing

Dogs communicate their emotions by making noises such as grunting, groaning, and crying. Your dog may emit a long and relaxed sigh when they lay in your bed in the evening or grunt when they finally get into bed. Perhaps your fingers found the ideal spot just between their ears, and they let out their joy with a series of cute grunts. Sometimes, grunts or groans may be triggered by discomfort or pain. Also, using clues to context and becoming familiar with the typical dog’s grunts and groans will assist you in identifying the sound of a harmless noise and one that requires further investigation.

Snoring and Sleep Sounds

One of the most charming sounds our dogs make is the sound of snoring and sleeping, which can be heard when dogs rest. Snoring is generally a harmless sound. It is more frequent in short-nosed or brachycephalic breeds due to their neck, head, and airway shape and size. Certain dogs constantly snore, some only sometimes, for example, when placed in a different position, exposed to allergens, or in a deep sleep. If the snoring becomes louder or more frequent, this could signal an airway disorder.

Other sounds of sleep, like whimpers, barks, or growls, aren’t anything to be concerned about since your dog may be experiencing an intense dream. These sounds should end when your dog awakes.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Making Weird Noises

Decoding dog sounds is a learned ability that will be honed through time. Most of the time, it is the case that the noise that your dog makes isn’t a cause for concern, and no investigation or modifications are needed. Being familiar with your dog’s normal behaviors and sounds is the best way to spot any irregularities or health concerns requiring attention or intervention.

If your dog is making strange noises that you can’t recognize, unusual noises, new ones, or if the noise is associated with other indications of distress or illness, it’s best to consult with your vet to be sure there’s no cause for worry.

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